Nikon D3100 SLR


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Hi Folks, Just wondering if this camera is any good? My wife has wanted an SLR camera since she saw the kind of pictures her sister is getting with her Canon SLR. We've only has point and click cameras to this point. She is also not a technophile. She just wants it to work. I'm looking for a beginner SLR that is of decent quality.

All I have looked at so far is the D3100 and Canon Rebel T5...
It's decent enough but pretty long in the tooth now. The D3200 replaced it and that was replaced by the D3300 recently.

Unless it's super cheap or comes with a better than standard lens I would opt for a newer model purely from a features point of view.

I prefer Nikon as I find them to be sturdier and have better perceived quality. For an absolute beginner an entry level Canon would probably be slightly easier to use. At this end of the market it's horses for courses and you'd probably get a better picture from a new mirrorless camera if you're just going to stick it in auto mode.
Decent camera but like already said its been out for a while and the other replacements do things a little better. I also agree that getting a better lens than your typical kit lens. Clarity and sharpness is fine in most cases with kit lenses, but the bokeh (background blur) and the added punch to pic quality can be very rewarding.

A friend (no photography sense) recently bought the 3200 and the 18-55 lens that came with the body, he likes it a lot, but when i gave him my 50mm 1.8 lens he was actually kind of blown away. Granted I had to teach him a bit about photography, but he has yet to take it off his camera.

AS for Nikon Canon..etc, the way it feels in ones hands along with the menu system is going to be the biggest factor. Whatever makes one feel more comfortable.

You may also want to look at smaller bodies like mirrorless or other solutions from other vendors, some people get turned off by bigger bodies from dslr's and their lenses.
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Like GI said, you may want to look into a mirrorless instead of standard DSLR to get the greatly improved quality but more compact nature.

..a decent one with a sharp lens and you're good to go. If not, dpreview has plenty of other roundups and reviews.

Also, although prime lenses like:

...are very compact, shallow DOF, and truly badass, she may want to stick to zooms for the agility. But I want the above so bad...what a great walkaround combination.
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It's the camera I own and it is an excellent camera for a beginner or moderate amateur photographer. I love it.
My sis has the D3100. Damn good camera in manual and auto. I told her to get the 35mm 1.8 and that's pretty much a full time lens for her.
I would look at the D3300 also. Either way, I would highly recommend buying a f1.8 lens. You can get some pro looking shots even if you're a noob.
IMO when using a cropped sensor, apc...etc, the 35 1.8 is a must. Such a great all around lens. THO i will say its not for everyone seeing that people may not always like NOT having zoom capabilities. It does make one more aware of composition which leads to better photos over all.

But to your original question, the 3100 should be a better choice over the T5. Specs are extremely similar, both winning back and forth at specific tech, but seeing that it should be significantly cheaper its a better value buy.

Canon's biggest advantage is the autofocus in movie mode & higher iso range.
Nikon's advantages is better iso performance and stats show it having better image quality ratings.

Over all so very close.

Again pending your budget you may want to compare these units to other vendors like Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and even Nikon's smaller series. Just because they may have more pleasing features while being more compact.
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We have a D3100 with two kit lenses (18-55 and 55-200 think), bought it a couple of years ago. It's been good for the price. The smaller lens is starting to develop some little problems, but it's been dragged along and used in all kinds of conditions, so that's not exactly the fault of the lens.
Heres what i've found locally:
Canon rebel T3 beginner kit - 299
Nikon D2100 - 299
Canon rebel T5 - 399
Nikon D2300 - 449

Not much under 500 in mirrorless :
Sony A5000 - 409

All prices are in cdn.
Heres what i've found locally:
Canon rebel T3 beginner kit - 299
Nikon D3100 - 299
Canon rebel T5 - 399
Nikon D3300 - 449

Not much under 500 in mirrorless :
Sony A5000 - 409

All prices are in cdn.

3X00 series not 2X00 duh. Anyways I found a retailer that had the D3300 that just squeaked in under the budget. I ordered it. Thanks for all the input. Now maybe for our anniversary I'll get her the 35 1.8 Lense. Thanks all!
In the living room with lousy light and no flash with a baby that moves constantly. Definitely get that lens.
D3100 with 35 1.8 lens.